Jon Huntsman, the one Republican candidate that doesn’t seem to worry about cozying up to the Republican right, skipped the debate last night in Nevada, reducing the field to seven. By all accounts, it was an attempted mugging of Mitt Romney who I have heard strapped his dog on the top of his car to go on vacation in Canada. It seems like ever since the Bush campaign accused John McCain of having a love child of mixed race in South Carolina in 2000, that there are no restrictions on what can and can be said about someone. Never mind the truth.

Politics in the late 18th century in England were no less raucous. Scandals erupted regularly and King George III’s detractors flocked to the Prince of Wales. The Prince, possibly one of the most feckless heirs to the throne in British history, and that is saying a great deal, abandoned his allies when he did eventually become King. Further, he tried to divorce his wife in Parliament and lost that battle. He was no politician.

You might think the same of the Republican field. Every debate has landmines that you know are bound to sink a candidate’s bid if they fall onto them. And, of course, all the candidates are shoving hard to make sure someone makes that faux pas. This is the reality show of party politics and it is not limited to the Republicans as the Democrats are quite capable of similar back stabbing. Personally, I don’t think I can vote for a politician that doesn’t believe in evolution. Who cares what their politics are?


It is not like me to recommend a particular decorator because I rarely get to see their work. My goods are just a cog in the wheel which, when finished, is not something I get to see. However, since going to Kathy Abbott’s room at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, several years ago, I have followed her work with interest. She has a sophisticated eye. She creates rooms that just feel right. Wendy Moonan, writing for the NY Times, liked her room as much as any that year and it was a great list of decorators that took part in that Show House.

She has just set up a small vignette in the Leron showroom in the D and D building. She is using a screen of mine to help create a bedroom setting and I have to say it works beautifully. The setting largely uses antiques, but that is not always her modus operandi. Her ability to mix contemporary and old is superb, particularly with the art that she uses, in this case some Helen Frankenthaler prints. Her talent is obvious even in such a simple space and it is worth the effort to take a look.


The organic nature of capitalism is on full view at the moment. It seems intent on suicide, but somehow I feel that it will survive. My belief is partly bolstered from reading the obituary of Steven Jobs, the former head of Apple who died yesterday. His career epitomizes the art of learning and adapting to situation. He was not a visionary, he was a man who looked at what was and made good, even excellent, decisions about how they ought to be.

Our needs are fluid and what serves them should be fluid as well. Nothing tangible that we live with has to be the same way tomorrow. To believe that things can somehow be made better should be an essential part of the human condition. Nothing is too small or too large to be thought about and improved on. This is true for the tangible, but also for the intangible such as capitalism and democracy, ideas that need to adapt just as people do.

This probably sounds odd coming from an antique dealer. But well designed things made of beautiful materials have their own lasting quality, but they should not forestall new ways of doing things. Jobs understood that as he reeled off one product after another that just worked well and looked beautiful. And yet he kept tweaking his products. Perhaps he understood that the nature of the universe is change. Capitalism and democracy are facing this challenge right now. We will see how well they re-design themselves.